During the week of April 27, 2015, representatives from regulatory authorities from six Arctic states gathered in the Main Interior Building’s historic North Penthouse to participate in the Inaugural Meeting of the Arctic Offshore Regulators Forum (AORF). The AORF, which addresses a specific recommendation of the Arctic Council’s Task Force on Arctic Marine Oil Pollution Prevention, is an Arctic forum of technical and operational offshore petroleum safety regulators whose members are dedicated to the common cause of continually improving offshore safety outcomes. Its primary scope is the exchange of information, best practices and relevant experiences learned from regulatory efforts related to developing petroleum resources in the Arctic Regions of the globe.
The two-day meeting saw the adoption of the AORF’s Terms of Reference, individual country presentations on respective legislative frameworks and offshore projects of note, and a roundtable discussion of substantive issues. BSEE’s Alaska Regional Director Mark Fesmire chaired the meeting, and led a U.S. delegation that included representation from the U.S. Coast Guard, as well as BSEE’s Alaska Regional Office, Oil Spill Preparedness Division, and Office of Congressional and International Affairs. The U.S. participated alongside representatives from Canada’s National Energy Board and the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board, the Finnish Transport Agency, Iceland’s National Energy Authority, Greenland’s Mineral License and Safety Authority, and Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority. The group plans to reconvene in fall 2015.